On paper (well computer screen), Ben seems perfect. We have so much in common and seem to be looking at life through the same lens. I feel excited because it seems like he could be the one, plus he is good looking too.
We arrange to meet at a pub over text, which is much closer to him than to me. Now, after so many dates, I won’t travel far (my absolute limit is 45minutes but preferably no further than 35) and it has to be either half way or closer to me for the first date.
‘There’s a nice little walk we could do too next to the pub,’ Ben suggests.
‘Ok’ I reply, thinking it would be around 40 minutes max as this is what I class as a ‘little walk’.
I arrive at the pub and get out my car and spot him emerging from his van. My first thought is ‘my god he’s tiny,’ as he is actually much shorter than me and at 5 ft 5, I’m hardly tall. My second thought is ‘what the hell’ as an ENORMOUS dog who was the same size as Ben comes bounding out his van.
‘You don’t mind if he comes too, do you,’ he says as the enormous dog jumps up on me and leaves mud all over my clothes.
Now, I am quite a chilled out person so am going to mind less than a lot of women when a big dog jumps on me and leaves mud all over my clothes on a first date, but I can’t say I’m overjoyed. Ben pats the head of the dog proudly and doesn’t apologise or try to stop the horse of a dog trying to hump me.
We (Ben) decide to go for a ‘little walk’ before having a drink. It is a sunny day and there are a lot of other people walking and off we headed along the path to some woods.
Ben keeps saying ‘lets go this way that way forwards and backwards and over the irish sea’- actually no hang on that’s not it, that’s a song- he keeps saying ‘lets go this way and that way, ‘- irish sea is not mentioned. I think I’m going crazy from all the dates I’ve been on, don’t mind me.
Before long there are no people around and we keep on walking and walking and walking. And walking and walking. And walking….
It suddenly strikes me that it isn’t very wise to go on a walk in the woods with some guy off the internet who I’ve only just met.
I suggest going back. We’ve already been walking for over an hour, which is not a ‘little walk’. It is massively muddy and I have grown huge feet of stuck on mud that are heavy to carry around. Luckily being the country bumpkin that I am, I always have walking boots in my car, but most woman going on a date to a pub ‘with a litle walk’ would not.
I am feeling shattered, I am hungover and am not in the mood for a bloody hike.
‘Erm I think it’s this way. No actually it’s that way,’ Ben says. We go that way and come to a barbed wire fence which we can’t get over so obviously it wasn’t that way.
I am feeling very pissed off by this point. It is getting dark and it is cold and being lost in the woods in the dark with some random guy off the internet who I don’t fancy is not my idea of a good time.
Ben is not a very considerate person and doesn’t bother making sure I am ok at tricky points like slippery muddy hills, he is focused on himself. And his dog. Again, guys, if you appear attentive, you will get brownie points, I might not say anything but you can bet I will have noticed.
After two hours we finally arrive back at the pub. As we stand at the bar, I realise I am starving and so I order a drink and a cake.
‘I’ll pay for your drink, but you can pay for your cake,’ Ben says.
Oooookay. I think he might have been better off not paying for any of it than coming across as stingy!
We sit down and I start to eat my cake.
‘Can I have some of your cake.’ Ben asks.
No. Sod off. It’s MY cake which I paid for, keep your hands away from the cake.
‘Yes of course’ says the better, well mannered part of myself graciously, whilst trying to refrain from stabbing his fingers with my fork- he had after all payed for my drink.
I watch inwardly fuming as he proceeds to eat half my cake. Get your own friggin cake if you’re hungry, I’m hungry, I NEED this cake. Yes, in case you are wondering, I do suffer from hangry.
The conversation isn’t much better. ‘Jo this, Jo that, Jo thinks xyz, a, b and c, I still go clubbing with Jo. We still go to festivals together too,’ Ben says, whilst blatantly eyeing up the waitress every time she walks past.
Jo is his ex and mother of his child, who clearly he isn’t over yet and who has recently dumped him. I don’t care what Jo thinks. I don’t care about Jo. I don’t want to hear about Jo.
After he finishes my cake, we say our goodbyes.
I drag my weary feet home where I am beyond exhausted. So much for being the one. I don’t hear from him again.
Until about a year later, when he suddenly materialises again and requests my friendship on facebook. To be continued…..